I must admit; mentally I was not prepared for my trip to New York. There wasn't anything particularly wrong it's just that I really wanted to stay home, spend time with my children, read a good book, soak in the hot tub – things I really enjoy. I wasn't looking forward to the long lines, security checks, hotel room stays and rude travelers that accompany most business trips. Follow me, because I'm trying to set the scene. I admit to already being off balance before I arrived at the airport so I am fully prepared to concede that I might have been a tad bit sensitive and predisposed to irritation. But then again, maybe it's just everyone else that happened to be flying between O'Hare and LaGuardia airports last weekend that's crazy. I even spotted our very own editor, Roland S. Martin looking a little disheveled.
So I have compiled a list of my five biggest complaints about what folks do while traveling: (drum roll please)
1. Folks who can't control their kids - I understand that they are just children. I have two of my own. The flight is boring and they need to be entertained. I get it. But to let them act like wild banshees at 30 thousand feet in the air is just totally unacceptable. Look either let me put that rug rat in one of the overhead luggage bins or let me order him a double jack and coke so we both can take a nap.
2. Folks who crowd the baggage carousel - Is it really that serious that you get your luggage off before anyone else that you practically cause a stampede? And have you noticed, it's usually the folks with the worst luggage? You should wait until the entire airport clears out to grab that junk. And for those of you, who can't seem to keep your kids off the belt, please reread complaint number one.
3. Folks who stand up before the plane comes to a complete stop then hold up the line - It's simple, just follow instructions. When the plane stops, grab your stuff and move on. Don't stop and turn around and discuss the landing with the folks behind you. Don't ask questions about the weather. Save your conversation for the terminal. I'm trying to get to baggage claim first. Note to self: re-read complaint number two.
4. Folks who stand behind the check-in desk - What are you typing? Look, I know my first and last names have exactly ten letters between them. Why is it that you type for a full minute after I give you my identification? I know security measures have been increased but last time I checked I didn't have TERRORIST stamped across my Illinois's driver's license. Another note to self: Next time, leave the hand grenade at home.
5. Folks who designed the airplane bathrooms - Who exactly is the airplane bathroom made to fit? If you are over 5'8 and any wider than a brochure, then you are plain out of luck. I can sit on the toilet and wash my feet in the sink. This is like using a washroom in a phone booth. And don't even get me started about the lines of women waiting in line to use it. Just a suggestion: Please go while I'm waiting for the people who are talking instead of exciting the plane. Thank you.
Disclaimer: no animals or children were harmed in the making of this column but I did emotionally scar a flight attendant.